Goan youth with deafness walks on prejudices, completes Himalayan trek goa news

Panaji: Mohd Sheikh, 26, from vasco He can’t hear and has limited vision, but he overcame a mountain of stereotypes about people with disabilities by completing a three-day Himalayan Trek recently.
When he landed in Nepal last month for the adventure, his first time traveling abroad, he had no trekking experience.

Goa Blind Youth

Mohammed Shaikh (R) completes a three-day Himalayan trek with a group of 15 other adults with hearing loss
Shaikh surprised even himself by completing the trek with a group of 15 other adults with a hearing impairment. The group was accompanied by interpreters.
“Mohamed has very, very limited vision and is profoundly deaf,” said Scott Tanglatt, his interpreter and a teacher at Caritas Goa. “He not only never went trekking but spent most of his time in and around his home.”
“After class VI or VII, she had to discontinue her education because of her vision problem,” said Tunglut. Caritas Goa took her under its wing from 2013-14 and provided her with vocational training and training in sign language “
When Sheikh was selected for the Himalayan trek organized by Sense International India and Deafblind Association of Nepal, he was not even on the trek in Goa. Tunglut tried his best to make the sheikh go for walks and get him up and down stairs.
But nothing could prepare Sheikh for the 10 hours of trekking in the Himalayan region daily from 8 am to 6 pm or sometimes till 7 pm.
Tunglut said, “When the trek organizers came to Goa, they chose Mohammed because they found him physically fit for the trek.” “For Mohammed, it was a completely new experience. Walking continuously for 10 hours on slippery surfaces was tough and challenging.”
On their trek from Ghandruk to Chomrong, the path was narrow and only one person could pass at a time. Tunglut’s only means of communication with the sheikh was tactile sign language, or signing his hand to make him understand what was next.
Tunglut said, “I had to be extra careful with him and make sure he was behind me.” “I had to hold his hand and sign it or let him touch something so I could explain to him that there are slippery rocks ahead etc.”
Tunglut said that the evening rains sometimes worried the sheikh. “Also, the Wi-Fi connection was not sufficient to make daily video calls to her parents,” he said.
The bitterly cold weather was also something that Sheikh experienced for the first time. Tunglut said, “He is the youngest in the house and has always been with his parents, except once when he went with me to Ahmedabad for vocational training for three-four days.” I have been working with him for the last five-six years, that’s why the parents put their trust in me.
All that pain in his feet that Sheikh had complained about has gone away with a sense of accomplishment.
Tunglut said, “I had to motivate him. But from being mostly at home to finishing the trek for the first time, Mohd has come a long way.” “He made so many friends. He might even go on another trek!”


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